Almost from the moment that I became interested in the Roswell case, people were offering solutions for it. Like most everyone else, I thought that a balloon of some nature would answer the questions about the crash. After the first few days in New Mexico, as Don Schmitt and I talked to various people who claimed some inside knowledge of the case, we were disappointed. It seemed there was less than nothing… and then we met Bill Brazel whose tale matched that he had been telling for years about bits of metallic debris.
I mention all this by way of preamble. I didn’t begin believing that Roswell was the crash of an alien spacecraft, but something much more mundane. It was only after talking with Brazel and then many others that my attitude began to change.
At the same time, there were those who pushed the idea that it was some sort of balloon. John Keel had suggested a Japanese Balloon Bomb, but that was quickly eliminated given the history of them and the circumstances in which they were launched. The Air Force settled on a Project Mogul array in the mid-1990s and at the risk of continuing a lot of unnecessary discussion that has been going on for years, I’m not sold on that. Documentation provided by the Air Force seemed to rule it out.
|An inflated Satelloon.|
Lately, Dr. Bob Gross introduced us to the Satelloon, which is, basically, a huge, aluminum-covered balloon designed for passive communications. These balloons would be launched into space, inflated, and then radio signals would be bounced off them. This idea was much more cost effective, according to various studies, than using a trans-Atlantic cable for worldwide communications. Of course, in 1947, there had been no artificial satellites launched into orbit. That was ten years away.
The idea of something like the Satelloon, however, was one proposed Arthur C. Clarke in the mid-1940s. He is considered the father of the modern communications satellite even though he had no hand in putting the things into orbit. And, of course, science fiction writers have always been on the forefront of scientific thought with visions of trips to the moon, to the planets of the solar system, and to thoughts of communications with alien civilizations to name just a few of the things they envisioned.
I have attempted to follow up on this Satelloon idea. I have contacted Dr. Gross, but his response was less than helpful. He said that he would think about my questions and decide if he wanted to answer them. These were such puzzlers as had he reviewed all the information supplied by Bill Brazel, meaning his descriptions of fiber optics and balsa-like material that was so touch he couldn’t get a shaving with his pocket knife. His response suggested he would think about it was dated July 21 but I have yet to hear another word from him.
What I have found, by reading his papers, listening to his interviews, is that he suggests that the testing of the Satelloons was imbedded in the testing of the Mogul arrays. Going through Dr. Albert Crary’s field notes on the New York University balloon project, and the other documentation available about these Mogul tests, there is no hint that this was done. Crary mentioned, not only the Mogul name in those notes, but other projects with which
they cooperated in some fashion and other equipment that could be relevant to their research. Had a Satelloon been embedded, there is a good chance that it would have been mentioned, but it was not. Is this proof positive? No.
I also note that the Mogul culprit, Flight No. 4, was cancelled according to the available documentation. That would have been launched at dawn on June 4 but wasn’t. There was a launch of a cluster of balloons carrying a sonobuoy later that day, but this was not a Mogul array, according to the documentation available. Charles Moore’s speculative track of Flight No. 4, required it to have been launched at 2:30 or 3:00 a.m., which would have been in violation of the regulations under which they operated. And, given that Dr. Crary noted that it was cancelled at dawn, it means that Moore’s calculations of the path were in error. I mention this only because the track that seemed to take the array in the direction of the Brazel (Foster) ranch is flawed. That means, of course, that whatever fell there did not include a Satelloon.
In my research, I noticed a couple of things. I see that there was nothing that suggested a Satelloon was available in July 1947 for testing with the Mogul arrays. The last relevant entry in Gross’s paper seems to be that no BoPET balloons, which were the type of balloon that would become the Satelloon, were available until 1952. Gross’s timeline then drops to the Roswell crash story and to speculation about satellites including Arthur Clarke’s 1945 paper. That doesn’t provide any documentation that a Satelloon was available in 1947.
Gross does point to the pictures taken in General Ramey’s office, suggesting they show the remains of a Satelloon. The truth is, the pictures show the remains of a rawin radar target and a neoprene weather balloon. There is nothing in those pictures to suggest the remains of a Satelloon.
Gross has suggested that he had other evidence, other documentation that will prove that a Satelloon is responsible for the debris found by Mack Brazel. He has yet to produce it, saying that he doesn’t want to lessen the impact of his upcoming book. This I understand. However, I have found nothing that would suggest that Satelloons were being tested in New Mexico in 1947 and nothing to suggest that they were being tested as early as 1947. The idea was there but the technology had not caught up with the theory. The best I can do is find information on testing in 1952.
Until, and unless, Gross provides the documentation, this is a theory that we must reject. If the documentation exists and we can verify its provenance, we have no choice. If the documentation is presented, at that point we can reevaluate the theory.